Like any type of footwear, selecting ski boots should be done with the utmost care. Your concern should be with getting the best possible fit and not on aesthetics, or on what your friend bought. Selecting the right boots can affect not just your comfort but your safety and performance. You will be spending a lot of time in those boots and they cost a lot, so why not take the time to ensure that they fit properly?
The ski boots that you eventually choose should also be suited to your skill level. Buying ski boots that are above or below your skill level can hinder your performance and technique, or lead to injury.
When buying shoes we generally tend to choose a bigger size, however with ski boots you need a snug fit. The reason for this is that in skiing, your foot does not elongate as it does in walking, but stays flat in mid-stance, therefore it may be wiser to choose a size smaller than your regular shoe size.
Ski boots are best purchased from an expert fitter, who will enquire about your goals and your skill level. He/she may spend several hours with you, measuring your feet, testing your range under flexion and the flexibility of your feet. Your fitter will have you try several pairs of boots until the best fit is achieved. Much of your time will probably be spent sitting around and walking around the store in various boots, ensuring that they are well-fitted and comfortable for long periods. Your boot lining may require some customisation and your boots’ shells may need some adjustment. Your fitter will advise on the right type of insoles and socks for your boots.
When you leave the store (finally), you should have a pair of boots that fit like a glove but cause you no pain. They should be comfortable and your ankle joint should flex correctly, with your foot and the liner in close contact. With the right type of socks, the boots should keep your feet warm, but not perspiring. Cold and wet feet can affect your performance and make your day miserable.